Today’s song, I Think I’ll Ride, examines the relationship-management strategy that Walt, in his self-help seminars, calls Projectile Decommitment. Though powerful, the technique is simple to grasp, and may seem ever simpler as the night wears on. To apply it, one partner leaves the other as abruptly and rapidly as though fired from — and possibly pursued by — a gun, goes to a place where there are no problems, and never comes back.
A lot of people naturally get a bit stuck on step two, which requires them to travel to a problem-free escape destination. Even Walt allows that this is a tricky part. He usually mentions Shangri-La, the Big Rock Candy Mountain, and for some reason Loch Ness as top possibilities, but other locations also rank highly: Avalon, Xanadu, the Garden of Eden, Robinson Crusoe’s island and Strawberry Fields, to name but a few. (According to a persistent rumor, Walt spent most of his childhood in the “Fiction” section of the public library under the misapprehension that it was a variant spelling of “Faction”, a large collection of ultra-reliable facts. Being a diligent child, he carefully avoided the distracting fancies of the non-faction area in which less serious scholars idled away their research periods.)
I Think I’ll Ride is written from the point of view of an ordinary husband — an everyman — who, through naïveté or carelessness, has allowed his natural, sincere and commendable appreciation of matrimony to outrun his sense of proportion in ways that to some degree have alienated his wife. He has, in brief, over-married a bit. Now, as he looks ahead nervously to an impending confrontation, an idea comes to him, as a glimmer at first, and then an onrushing flood of inspiration. A solution to his problem, and one of dramatic simplicity.
He thinks he’ll ride. It’s hard to tell whether he’ll still mean it in the morning.
Today we’re releasing the sheet music for I Think I’ll Ride; it will have the usual 40% launch discount for the next week. If your thing is to play and sing cowboy songs with a paranoid swing you may want to give it a fling or even take it under your wing.